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Laryngectomy home care


Check the area around the stoma and inside the wall of your trachea for mucus and crusts that may have formed overnight. You will need a flashlight and a mirror to look in your stoma. Do this in the morning and evening. Make this a regular routine.


Gently wash the skin around the opening with mild soap and water and wipe dry. If your stoma is kept clean and free from secretions, your skin will not become dry or irritated.


Until your airway is well healed and you are used to breathing dry air, use a saline spray to keep your stoma moist. Use the spray, 1 to 3 sprays into your stoma, every 2-3 hours to keep your airway clean and moist. Only you can tell if your secretions are easy to cough out and your airway is clean, pink, and glistening.

Since the air you breathe does not pass through your body’s natural moistening system (your nose and mouth), it is important to humidify the air you breathe. This extra humidity helps prevent stoma crusting, eases breathing, and reduces coughing.

If possible have a humidifier in your bedroom, since the stoma tends to crust and dry more at night. Warm or cool humidification is your personal preference. Keep the equipment clean to prevent infections.

Wearing a stoma cover helps keep your stoma clean, dust free, and retains moisture.


If there is mucus in the stoma, try to cough it out. Use your saline spray or, try applying a warm, damp cloth over the stoma. Try running hot water in a sink, lean over and through your stoma inhale the steam. A steamy shower is wonderful, but do protect your stoma with a washcloth or shower shield.


Covering your stoma helps keep it clean and healthy by preventing dust particles from entering your airway. It also retains the warmth in the air you breathe.

A stoma cover can be tied around your neck. A crocheted bib is popular and can be obtained through the American Cancer Society or laryngectomy association. You can make your own. You can also wear scarves, a turtle neck or jewelry to cover your stoma. Some people like to wear cotton U-neck undershirts.